MMMmmmm Food!

MMMmmmm Food!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Herb Marinaded Pork Tenderloin

***Sorry for such a long gap on here!  I need to get back to cooking!***
I can't take credit for this dish!  Another great one from The Barefoot Contessa herself...

check out the link for my inspiration:

GIVE THE PAW!  (Taz loves anything Pork related)

What you will need (for 2 people):

1 pork tenderloin (this one is about 1.3 lbs)
1 lemon
3 garlic cloves
3 rosemary stems
4-5 thyme stems
1 tsp dijon
black pepper & kosher salt
3 tbsp olive oil

 Let the pork marinade with the juice of one lemon, 1/2 the zest of that same lemon, 3 crushed garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, dijon and olive oil.  (Give the herbs a rough chop).  If you can let it sit in the fridge overnight, that's best!  Otherwise try to give it a couple hours.
 Remove the pork and let it come to room temperature - let any of the herbs stay on the meat that want to.

Preheat oven to 400
 Heat two more tbsp olive oil in a large pan.  Once very hot, sear the meat on all sides - about a minute or two per side.
 Above is the nicely seared pork tenderloin!  Yum... smells good in here already!
 Roast the pork for 15 minutes and then check the temperature with an instant read meat thermometer.  You want to stop cooking at 137 degrees!
 Let the meat rest for 10 minutes - tent with foil.

How about some sides to go with!  

Green beans (a good amount for 2 people)
1 shallot
2 slices bacon
herb goat cheese
red wine vinegar

 Really all you have to do is cook up the bacon so it crumbles, cook down the sliced shallot - then add everything together!
 After the green beans are cooked (I like them to still have a good crunch - no soggy veggies for me!)  Add a few dashes of red wine vinegar and toss.  Once on the plate, sprinkle on the cooked shallot, bacon and goat cheese!
 Slice the meat diagonally - I probably did about an inch in thickness.  Always let the meat rest before you cut it so the juices return to the center of the meat.

So good!!!  I didn't explain how to make the couscous because that happened in a previous blog post!  I guess you will have to hunt it down!  :-)  Happy cooking!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Grilled Filet Mignon with Smashed Red Potatoes & Asparagus

MMMMmmMmMm  So today was St. Patty's Day!!!! And I HATE all the crazy, drunk, freaks on the street of NYC at 10:30am - Don't even get me started on it!  The day has become a bad version of Halloween - an excuse for the bridge and tunnel people to come to Manhattan, drink as much as they can because they are unemployed, act like fools, girls dress like skanky sluts, and make subway delays for those of use that LIVE here.  OK - my rant is over.... 

blah, blah, blah... St. Patrick's Day - Irish made me think of meat and potatoes.  If I'm going to be doing "meat and potatoes"  - it's going to be a delicious filet mignon and we'll dress up those potatoes - right?

You will need:

2 filets (about 1/2 pound each)
Olive oil
Kosher salt & ground black pepper

Rub the meat all over with some olive oil.  Then season each side with a good amount of salt and ground pepper.  Let your meat come to room temperature for a good 45 minutes before grilling.

Boil about 6-8 red potatoes for 20 minutes.  

 Use something to SMASH the cooked potatoes - I used this measuring cup - It really gets out aggression if you are feeling some stress!  
 See?  Doesn't that make you happy to see a smashed potato?  Maybe I'm just weird...
Toss the potatoes all back into the pot you boiled them in.  Add about 3 tablespoons of butter and a dash of olive oil.  We're not making mashed potatoes with tons of milk or cream - John is the cause of THAT!)  Oh well.... these actually come out like mashed potatoes!

Remove the leaves from a few sprigs of Thyme - chop them up too.  In a little bowl, combine one tablespoon of white truffle oil with the thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper.

 We need something green, right?  Ok - How about some simply steamed asparagus?!  GREAT!  So take as much as you want for two people - get yourself an asparagus steamer (as seen above).  A tiny amount of water in the bottom produces all the steam to cook them - fast and easy!  Only 2-3 minutes.
 Woof - look at those sexy slabs of meat all seasoned up!
 Maybe a little red wine reduction would be yummy on this - sure, why not?  
1/3 cup good red wine (cabernet)
1-2 tbsp butter
black pepper
slice of red onion
dash of balsamic vinegar 

*I'm sure there are better ways to make a red wine reduction - I was just lazy and this is all I had around to try it!  But it sort of worked!  Just simmer the liquid until it reduces enough to spoon on half for each plate.

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees
 Grill pan!  I heart the grill pan!  Get it super hot before you add filets.
 Grill them for about 1.5 min and turn them 90 degrees and grill another two minutes.  Do not move them any other time!  You want the nice criss cross lines!  Then flip the steak, grill for another two minutes, turn 90 degress and finish in a 400 degree oven!  This will depend on the size of steak - use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.  (I like 125 degrees in the center for a nice medium-rare to medium!)
 Check out those smashed potatoes!  I also threw in about 1.5 tablespoons of whole grain mustard and a couple pinches of garlic powder for another kick of spice!
 Looks like the sauce is ready!!!  I can't hardly stand it anymore!  Just throw it all together on a plate!
Look at the little cuddle monster Taz!!!!!  He wants a filet all for himself!!
Check it out!!!!!  MMMmmmm so good!  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lobster with Lemon Garlic Pasta!

Lobster with Lemon & Garlic Pasta!
Hey Tazzy... you pick a good spot to chew that bone and Daddy is going to cook up a yummy dinner!
What a great surprise - to come home from a long day of work and John has done all the grocery shopping for dinner.  One might think, "Oh dear God!  What a terrible gift - you have to cook dinner now!  YUCK" - well not I!  This is going to be fun!  AND LOBSTER!

What I used:

1/2 pound lobster meat
3 tbsp butter
1/2 pound fresh fusilli pasta
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pasta sauce (*use regular sauce - not can of tomatoes like in picture)
ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

(Serves two people)

In a large pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and olive oil - when melted, add minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  
Turn heat off and add 2 tbsp tomato basil sauce and 2 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon).  Grind some black pepper on the sauce too.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Chop up the lobster into good sized chunks.  (*Note - the claw meat usually has a thin piece of cartilage in it - just use your finger to pull the meat away from it - throw hard stuff out!)
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta for about 3 minutes.
Add pasta to the garlic/lemon sauce - toss in the chopped lobster meat and the remaining 1 tbsp butter.
Turn the heat back on under the pan to about medium.  Heat up the lobster meat for about 2-3 minutes.
Chop up about two tbsp of flat leaf parsley and garnish each plate with it!  Squeeze the remaining 1/2 lemon between the two plates.  This last bit of lemon juice really makes the pasta taste fresh and lemony!  Done!  How easy is that?

Monday, March 7, 2011

BBQ Pulled Pork!

Time for a puppy play date lunch!
Taz thought it would be fun to have a play date with Riley the pug!  How cute are they??!

Here's what you need:

3-4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
6-8 tbsp pork spice rub (I used mccormick grill mates pork rub)
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 spanish onions
2 tbsp light brown sugar
grapeseed oil spray
lots of BBQ Sauce (I like the Jack Daniels ones)
8 hamburger buns
The night before you want to have this - rub about a tbsp of apple cider vinegar all over the meat - then rub on the spice mix.  This particular brand said about 2 tbsp per pound of meat.  Mine was almost 4 pounds, so I used about 7 tbsp of rub.
Place the pork shoulder in a zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight.  (if you can't do overnight, anything over 1 hour is good).
When ready to start the cooking, take the meat out and let it rest at room temperature for awhile.  It's going to be very cold - better for even cooking if the inside isn't super cold and outside room temp.  Heat up a large frying pan with a little grapeseed oil spray.  (This is a great oil for medium-high temps - it won't smoke a lot).  When the pan is hot, sear the entire outside of the meat.  Probably about 3 minutes on every side.  Use some heavy duty tongs to hold the meat in place if it wants to roll to a side already browned.
Put the meat into the slow cooker (The one I have is a 6.5 quart size).  Now, turn the heat off and add 2/3 cup vinegar and 2 tbsp brown sugar to the pan.  Use a large spoon to scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom.
Cut the onions in half and place them around the meat.  Pour in the vinegar/sugar mixture from the frying pan all over the meat.  Cook on the LOW setting for at least 8 hours (I let mine cook for 8.5)
Above:  When the cooking was about 1/2 way complete - I poured some BBQ sauce all over the meat!
OK!  We are done!  The apartment smells amazing!  Such a tease to be here on the weekend while it cooks.  I recommend doing this on say, a Tuesday - that way you can be at work thinking about it - not thinking about AND smelling it...
Cut the meat into a couple thick slices.  This makes shredding a little easier.
Shredding can be a little time consuming.  Use two forks to scrape at the meat.  (You also want to keep a good amount of the fat - mash it up in there too.  It makes the meat moist and adds flavor!)
Add as much BBQ sauce as you want - keep the slow cooker on low or a warm setting.  Now all you have to do it pile the meat on some classic hamburger buns - potato rolls are great too!
Time for a beer!!! 
And watch the pups run all around!